The Life of a Campus Barber: David Dames

David Dames is a name that is very familiar on the Wells College campus. David is a rising senior, who is a Business major with a minor in Psychology. He is also on the Wells College Men's Basketball team and works in the Office of Communications and Marketing. Aside from David’s academic attributes, he is also well known for his hair cutting business.

At first, David did not intend to have a barbering business; he simply learned to cut his hair because of the lack of barbers at Wells College or the neighboring villages. David explicitly stated, “Before I came to Wells, I was told that there were no barbershops on campus. After hearing that I knew I had to learn to do it myself. I didn’t envision it becoming a business originally.” This quote serves as a means of inspiration. Sometimes our passion about a career or craft does not always start from a positive experience, but it is up to you make that difference.

When asked how it feels to be “the campus barber” and be a full-time student, David replied,  “It’s tough being a full-time student-athlete and campus barber. There are only 24 hours in a day. Therefore, I have to allocate my time efficiently. But other than that, it is gratifying! I’m able to hustle some side money while building my brand and pursuing a childhood goal of mine – playing collegiate basketball.” It is one thing to be stagnant, and it's another thing to work hard and be dedicated to your craft, and David embodies those qualities. David asserts that he considers himself an entrepreneur and a trailblazer. His definition of entrepreneurs are people who would rather chase their dreams and stand out, rather than following a path laid out to every other person.

David has been cutting hair for a year now, and his growth in skills is well noted. David shares that he learned to cut hair by watching hundreds of hours of tutorials on YouTube. “No teachers. No classes. Just a phone and a clipper.” I find that very inspiring because we all know what it is like to what to learn something new but don’t have the means or money to do so. It also illustrates that with determination anything can be done. David’s advice to any upcoming barber is to be humble, open-minded and watch hours of tutorials to get better.

Being a barber has not been all good experiences for David. He tells us that his worst experience with being a barber was messing up on cutting his own hair. “When I first started my haircuts on myself were trash.” David also shares that his biggest weakness in cutting hair is doing designs! He attributes that weakness because he is not personally a fan of designs and has not trained for that specific area of barbering.

When asked what is the most important thing for your client to feel, David responded, “Comfort and warmth are the most important thing clients should feel when they enter my business.” He also states that barber client relationships are critical, and it can be the difference between a one time or returning customer. Because David is aware of this concept, he tries always to make them feel comfortable through conversation and a great haircut.

Aside from cutting hair David creates YouTube videos centered around fashion, barbering, fitness, technology, and photography. Presently David is working on creating a professional portfolio of all his videos and pictures and to advertise his business, David uses social media to promote himself. “Social media has given businesses and aspiring entrepreneurs like myself the ability to spread awareness to millions of people.”

In the next five years, David sees his business evolving! His ultimate goal is to have a business centered around helping men in becoming comfortable pursuing the women they are attracted to. In his brief research, he learned that confidence plays a big role in a person’s ability to feel comfortable talking to a crush or love interest. “For men, our confidence is usually centered in our physical appearance (fitness), our hairstyle (grooming), and our fashion sense.” David wants to have a service where he can bring all three elements together and polish younger or older men to feel more confident in speaking to love interest.

To see more of David’s work follow his social media platforms:

YouTube: @D. Dames  

Twitter: @ddames_3

Instagram: @ddames_3